Today is my grandmother’s birthday, and since she happened to be visiting with my aunt I decided to make a Very Special Birthday Dessert. Tiramisu is one of their favorites, and after experimenting with it several times over the last year, I felt I’d landed on a recipe that did the name justice. Tonight was a test, however, because my grandmother and aunt have tried many different Tiramisus, some of very high caliber. The word? Major success. They said it was superb, so I’ll be filing this away as my official Tiramisu recipe.
I haven’t tried this with mascarpone cheese, which I understand is traditionally the cheese of choice. I also don’t make mine with rum, though I’m sure it could be added to the coffee easily enough. I do make my own Ladyfingers, as I’ve been unable to find them around here. Start to finish, it takes about an hour and half to assemble the Tiramisu. Definitely worth it.
6 egg yolks
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup milk
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese*
1/2 cup strong brewed coffee
2 (3 oz) packages soft ladyfinger cookies**
unsweetened cocoa powder
fresh strawberries (opt)
1) In a medium saucepan, whisk egg yolks and sugar together; add milk and whisk constantly over medium heat until mixture thickens and comes to a boil.
2) Boil 1 minute, remove from heat and let cool slightly; cover and chill 1 hour.
3a) If making your own ladyfingers, do this now.
3b) In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, sour cream, and 2 Tablespoons heavy cream. Whisk into pudding until smooth.
4) In another bowl, whip heavy cream and vanilla until stiff peaks form.
5) Drizzle underside of ladyfingers with coffee and place on bottom (and sides if desired) of serving dish.
6) Evenly spread custard over ladyfingers, then spread on whipping cream; sprinkle top with cocoa, decorate with fresh strawberries, cover and refrigerate a minimum of 4 hours.
For best results, allow to refrigerate 36-48 hours.
* Cheese alternative: mix together 1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, 1/4 cup sour cream and 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
** If using homemade ladyfingers, they do not need to be cut in half; drizzle coffee on underside and layer as usual.
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4 eggs, separated
2/3 cup sugar, divided
3/4 cup white flour + 2 Tablespoons
1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1) Pre-heat oven to 400° F.
2) Beat egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form, then gradually add 2 Tablespoons sugar until stiff and glossy.
3) In a separate bowl beat together egg yolks and remaining sugar on medium speed until thick and a pale yellow.
4) In a separate bowl, sift flour and baking powder together.
5) Fold half of the egg whites into the egg yolks, fold in flour, then remaining egg whites, folding until just mixed.
6) Pour mixture into a greased 9×13 pan and spread evenly.
7) Bake 8 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool completely in pan(s).
8) To prepare for Tiramisu, either turn cake out and return to pan upside down for a solid layer or cut into “cookies” and distribute into the Tiramisu as desired.
– for a true ladyfinger “cookie”, pipe mixture 3″ long onto greased cookie sheets and bake 5-7 minutes (or until lightly browned)
– to make chocolate ladyfingers, substitute 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder for 2
Tablespoons white flour